How to Prep for Finals Week Stress

Finals week stress. Oof. Being that a lot of my clients are high school and college students, I wanted to address the (often) dreaded time of year, FINALS & EXAMS. For some they are quickly approaching and for others, you may have a few weeks ahead of you before the madness begins.

Taking time to think about how you’re going to approach this high stress time is crucial to survival (and success)! Lots of students end finals week feeling discouraged and burnt out. Many go the whole week running on little to no sleep and then fall into a post finals coma. Sound familiar? Ya. I remember. I did it too!

Don’t fret. There truly is a better way!

These are some of my best tips and tricks to navigating the finals week stress & frenzy.

One step you’ve conquered just by reading this post. Think about it ahead of time. What will your week (or two weeks) actually look like? Map out where you want to designate time for each assignment or exam and get it on your calendar.

Things to consider when creating your finals week schedule & prep time:

  • How long do you estimate each exam/project/paper will take you to complete?
  • How much study time do you need to dedicate to feel prepared day of?
  • What do you expect to be the most difficult?
  • What days/times are your exams & projects due?

Write all of this information out in a calendar. Knowing what’s headed your way might help you feel a bit more confident that you’ll be able to get to everything.

SO now that you know when your final assignments/exams are due and how much time you need to allot to each, look at the empty space in your calendar. Where can you fit in the things that fill you back up, the things that make you feel good? Often times when finals roll around, we drop everything we do routinely to care for ourselves. This can be counter-productive.

It’s important to build in breaks and activities that nourish our bodies and minds, especially when we’re really stressed.

Try to find 20-30 minutes each day that you can do something for yourself. This can look different for everyone. It may be movement, grabbing coffee with friends, watching Netflix, getting outside, or starting your morning slowly. Whatever it may be, you do you! Cherish these minutes for yourself. They are the golden nuggets throughout one of the most intense times in the semester.

Next, you’ll want to make sure you’re sleeping and eating in a way that is helpful rather than hurtful. I know, I know, you’ve heard it a million times ..and that’s because it’s really true.

When you take the time and effort to plan ahead, you can ditch the all nighters and fast food, binge eating, take out lifestyle while decreasing your overall finals week stress.

Set yourself a bed time and stick to it. In order for your brain to process all of the information, it needs significant rest. I know it may seem that staying up to study, write, and do more would be better, but this isn’t the case.

Same goes for nourishing foods! We need nutrients to make sure our brains are functioning at their highest level. Sleep and nourishment can help with memory and concentration. This will last much longer than a quick fix coffee or red bull.

Lastly, keep things in perspective. A month (or two) from now, all of this will be behind you. Your finals will likely feel insignificant.

You are a force to be reckoned with. Make sure you’re coming at finals with you’re A game so a month from now you can look back feeling sure that you did your absolute best!

Now, go crush those finals! And know that no matter what happens, you are worthy and you are smart.

Looking for more stress busting tips? Reach out to me here. 🙂

Picture of Chelsea Connors

Chelsea Connors